News: Third Army soldiers take aim to be named Top Shot
Story by Staff Sgt. Regina Machine
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – Third Army soldiers went to the range to prove who had the skills to be named the Top Shot during a competition here May 1.
The competition tested participants’ ability to fire their weapons in a certain amount of time with accuracy. Firers were divided into two categories: M9 pistol and M16 rifle. Some soldiers chose to be tested in both categories.
According to San Diego native, Sgt. Mario Martinez, operations non-commissioned officer, Third Army/ARCENT Special Troops Battalion, this event was designed to give Soldiers an opportunity to do something different with their weapons in a safe manner.
Lt. Col. Doyle Reaves, commander, 422nd Medical Detachment Veterinary Services, took top honors in the M9 pistol round with a score of 39 out of 40. The Little Rock, Ark., native admitted that he used to practice at the range one to two times a month while he was at home.
“I just like to shoot and we don’t get to shoot unless we’re deployed,” Reaves stated. “Competitions like this help you to be more confident with your skills. It puts a little more stress on you and makes you a better shot.”
Spc. Bryan Dearborn assigned to the 988th Military Police Battalion, won the M16 rifle round with a score of 39 out of 40 echoed these sentiments.
Although he was surprised that he won, he knew the fundamentals of marksmanship was important to his success.
“I wanted to prove my shooting skills with the M16 rifle and build confidence,” said the Mooresdale, Pa., native.
For other junior soldiers who might be interested in competing in competitions like this, Dearborn’s advice is to relax and be confident.
The Top Shot competition will be offered biannually with more events and plans are underway to get approval for a similar event at Shaw Air Force Base, Sumter, S.C., stated Martinez.
With competitions like the Top Shot, Third Army is ensuring that soldiers remain ready tonight to sustain the fight and use their marksmanship skills accurately under high stress situations.